The Legend of the Archangel Raziel and Adam
These pages are excerpts from the book, Kabbalah's Secret Circles, by Robert Zucker. Read more sample chapters and download a free PDF sample compliments of the author.
“Each day the angel Raziel makes proclamations on Mount Horeb, from heaven, of the secrets of men to all that dwell upon the earth, and his voice resounds throughout the world.” 9 10 9
From the Targum on Ecclesiastes 10:20. A Targum is a version or "a translation."
The archangel Raziel played a major role in early Jewish mystical tradition. His name is first mentioned in the BOOK OF ENOCH, composed sometime before the Common Era (C.E.).
Raziel sits among the highest class of archangels with Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel. The archangel Raziel was the transmitter of secrets and author of the legendary BOOK OF THE ANGEL RAZIEL. In a rabbinical explanation (called a Targum) about the above passage, Raziel stands on the peak of Mount Horeb and shouts out the secrets of mankind for all to hear.
To preserve this wisdom, Raziel collected all of the knowledge of the Universe into a book– the BOOK OF RAZIEL (SEPHER RAZIEL) or the BOOK OF SECRETS. According to some legends, this “book” was originally inscribed on a sapphire stone.
The BOOK OF RAZIEL disclosed everything from the astrology of the planets to the creative life energy– birth, death, reincarnation of the soul, and other occult subjects.
The archangel explained that the contents of the book contained “all things worth knowing (that) can be learnt, and all mysteries, and it teaches also how to call upon the angels and make them appear before men, and answer all their questions.”
This “book” contained the sacred 72 branches of wisdom and 670 sacred inscriptions. In the middle was a “secret writing explaining the thousand and five hundred (1,500) Keys which were not revealed even to the holy angels,” according to the ZOHAR.
The ZOHAR is the compendium of Jewish mystical tradition compiled in the 13th century from more ancient sources. It described how God handed this “book” of Secret Knowledge to the Archangel Raziel, the “angel in charge of the holy mysteries.”
Raziel stood near the Throne of God and recorded everything spoken, hence, this title of keeper and communicator of secrets.
But, he wasn’t known as one to keep secrets.
Adam and the Book of Raziel
The BOOK OF RAZIEL is called the first book ever written since Adam was the first human to possess its contents, according to Judaic legends.
The archangel Raziel shared this knowledge with Adam who read the book aloud to the angels. But, he was warned. The holy angel Hadraniel implored Adam not to reveal these secrets to the other angels. It was only Adam’s privilege to Adam obliged.
According to one legend, however, the angels were so envious of Adam they took the book away from him and threw it in the sea. The angel Rahab was ordered by God to return it Adam, and he did.
Another legend related that Adam continued to practice these secrets until he had “transgressed the command of his Master.” Because of his infraction, the book “flew away from him” and it was cast into the ocean. One version claimed that after Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, Adam took with him the “knowledge of the leaves of the tree,” a subtle reference to the allegorical Tree of Life described in Kabbalah.
To prevent Adam and Eve from reentering the Garden, Cherubim (holy winged-creatures) were placed at the entrance.
(More information continued in the full version of the book, "Kabbalah's Secret Circles.")
Download a free copy of the Hebrew version of Sefer Raziel (Book of Raziel).
Read more sample chapters and download a free PDF sample compliments of the author from the book, Kabbalah's Secret Circles.